One must keep in mind that the lion’s share of U.S. market growth in commercial cards during the past several years has been in purchasing cards and virtual cards, with the highest growth rate in virtual cards. You can find Mercator’s estimates for these two products in the recent Mercator Advisory Group research report titled, State of the Commercial Card Market 2015. Amex reports a 2% overall decline in the Global Commercial Services corporate card spend volumes year on year. The vast majority of Amex corporate card spend is in T&E, not procurement, making Amex more vulnerable to travel budget cutbacks. There may also be an industry segment targeting issue in Amex’s portfolio, since overall U.S. travel was expected to rise by 3.1%, as reported by the Global Business Travel Association. Amex does not break out regional growth within its GCS numbers, so it is hard to pinpoint if U.S.-based travel spend is the only weak point, or just the major one.
Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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